A scoop double! I guess this snapper really was hiding in the trees...
Yes, this was a proper long-lens job - so please excuse the grainy image and vegetation-eclipsed view. But make no mistake: the cars captured here are indeed next year's new C5 and Berlingo. Citroen's new Mondeo rival will be seen officially later this month, ahead of its debut at the Brussels Motor Show in January 2008. That means UK sales will kick off next spring, probably in time for the new registration plate change in March 2008. Information on the new Berlingo (right) is sketchier. But today's car-van hybrid has been around since 2000, so a newcomer is well overdue. It will repeat the high-roof formula that's made today's Berlingo such a hit with lovers of functionality over posing. Note how our scoop shot reveals Citroen's latest iteration of its front-end for all to see, with a subtler twin-chevron grille bleeding into more shapely headlights on both models.
That's not a scoop photo!
Indeed it isn't. This is the C5 Airscape shown at last month's Frankfurt Motor Show. And as the name suggests, this is a teaser for the production C5 scooped on page 1. Citroen showed this convertible version to showcase the C5's new look and insiders claim it previews the production car pretty accurately. Although not visible in this shot, it is even destined to have the C6's curved rear window and the C4's hubless steering wheel. Will the French build an open-top C5 this time round? There's nothing confirmed yet, but speculation in this weekend's press suggests that the number crunchers are monitoring the situation. One insider told us Citroen was 'bowled over' by the reception the Airscape received at Frankfurt and said it certainly wasn't being ruled out yet. Of course, most manufacturers say that about concept cars. The big question is, will Citroen have the balls to build it? It would become the first volume car maker to build a convertible in the D-sector, and could give Citroen an edge over the Vectra, Mondeo, Passat, 407, Laguna clones.
It's a damn sight better looking than today's C5...
Yes, style isn't a word often seen in the same sentence as C5. 'Cheap' maybe, 'discounted' and 'good value'. Especially the cheap-as-chips C5 Estate, a much under-rated car if ever we saw one. But Citroen is determined to change that this time round. Under the bonnet will be a selection of usual inhouse PSA fare, including the 2.7 V6 HDI sported by the concept car (above). It featured stop-start and ran on biodiesel, suggesting that we could see further green developments on this big new Citroen.
A 2.7 soft-hybrid running on biodiesel. Can't imagine they'll sell many of those
Of course, most bread-and-butter C5s will use conventional petrols and diesels from 1.6 litres up to 3.0 litres, driving the front wheels through the French groups PF3 big-car platform. Be sure to come back to CAR Online to see our full story on the C5 once the information is released later this month.